Forests and trees are sources of energy, food, shelter, and medicine—and, as such, contribute in multiple ways to reducing food insecurity, supporting sustainable livelihoods, and alleviating poverty.
But measuring forests’ socioeconomic benefits has been difficult due to methodological limitations and the lack of reliable data. As a consequence, the contribution of forests to sustainable development is not only underestimated, but is in some cases invisible, preventing policy makers from considering forest production and consumption benefits when developing social-welfare policies.
A new multi-partner publication provides a landmark contribution to data collection on the socioeconomic benefits of forests. Countries can use the modules and guidance in the book to help close the information gap on the multiple relationships between household welfare and forests. This, in turn, will help capture the true value of forests and other environmental products in gross domestic product measurements and increase understanding of their roles in livelihoods, ultimately leading to evidence-based policy decisions that ensure appropriate recognition of the socioeconomic benefits of forests in post-2015 development programs.
The publication is the result of collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Network, and the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team and Program on Forests (PROFOR).
Link to the webcast publication launch: http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/4227/icode/
For practical guidance on household survey design, visit the LSMS Guidebooks page: http://go.worldbank.org/0ZOAP159L0